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Nawfal Jasem Jirjees said: "Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a beautiful reflection of color on the water's surface. This picture was taken on a serene night." Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi has been singled out as one of the most cultural cities in the world in a recent online list compiled by Skyscanner, the popular travel fare website. The UAE capital made the list when the website listed the top five destinations for travellers who want an arts and culture-filled holiday.

Coming in at number two, only preceded by Florence in Italy, Abu Dhabi was singled out for being one of the Middle East’s most exciting cultural centres, featuring the National Theatre and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The website also highlighted the addition to the emirate of Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2017, with the museum having been designed by Pritzker-winning French architect Jean Nouvel an additional draw for the UAE capital as a cultural destination.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s significance as the Arab world’s first universal museum and the emirate’s outstanding dining scene were also referenced by the ranking website. The fascinating growth of interest in electronica music in Abu Dhabi was also highlighted, adding a modern element to the cultural appeal of the emirate.

“For Abu Dhabi to have been named as one of the most cultural cities in the world reflects positively on the work the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has done to position the emirate at the very forefront of people’s minds when they consider their next great cultural adventure,” said His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “This recognition also reinforces our resolve to continue to strive for excellence in our efforts to promote our emirate as a destination like no other. Year-on-year we are seeing record numbers come to visit the UAE capital, coming to experience everything from Qasr Al Hosn, to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the heritage sites in Al Ain. Making it onto this shortlist from such a reputable website shows that our ceaseless efforts are having the desired effect.”

The online ranking includes Florence, which was singled out for being ‘the birthplace of the Renaissance’, in addition to Mexico City, Austin in Texas, USA, and finally Kyoto in Japan.